Choosing a cloud platform for a small business

5 pts.
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Cloud Computing
Cloud Services
IT project management
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I am a Small Business Owner.  The business is  IT Project Management software/hardware integration, Managed Service Provider and reseller of end user computer products.   It is also a viritual organization.

 I would like to be able to integrate software that is useable by some or all of my employees for example (accounting software, MS Project, collaboration software, sales, crm). 

How do I choose the cloud service and provider that is right for my company (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS)?

Ken Smith

PMConsulting_NG LLC

 



Software/Hardware used:
MS Win 7, MS office 2010, MS Project,
ASKED: October 6, 2011  6:37 PM
UPDATED: March 31, 2012  12:31 AM

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  • James Murray
    This is the question that most consultants in this area get paid to answer. There are several rules to consider: 1) Networks Grow 2) The less complex the network the more efficient, trouble free and scalable Look at your business systems from end to end, what are the business systems that are needed? Website, CRM, Accounting, file server storage, industry specific Database(s). Do you need more than that? The more easily each seperate system talks to each other the less headache. The less hardware you have to deal with the less cost. The less Network OS you manage the lower the cost. If you can get away with SaaS (Software as a Service), go with that. That will gaurantee your capitial and other expenditures are most efficiently spent. The killer for any business system is building hooks between databases. Each time the two (or more) databases are upgraded the more likely the hook will fail. Which of course means lost productivity. Which leads to the next question... how do you feel about Microsoft? Some people hate it and some people could care less. In either case Microsoft is the standard for end to end business connectivity. There are other business systems that can work like Unix or Google, but nothing as comprehensive, scaleable and rohbust. Remember too, you can always find someone that can support a Microsoft product, but if your Apple, Unix, Linux or other opensource SaaS support tech leaves, or you outgrow thier technical expertise, it's hard to find a replacement. So designing a Microsoft SaaS system is very tempting. especially considering that Microsoft BPOS has over 2 million nodes on the system including with 1 million nodes belonging to Fortune 500 companies. Consider who will be around 5 years from now. Probably Microsoft will. But there are some other options and if you don't need the comprehensive flexibility there are choices for you. when designing your system the one thing everyone is blown away by is how quickly the network will grow. So scaleability is the killer for businesses that don't include that in thier business requirements.
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